Knobbly quince is a delicately fragrant fruit that fills the kitchen with the most incredible aroma, says Melanie Johnson.
For the quince syrup
- 1 large quince
- A squeeze of juice from a lemon
- 4tbspn runny honey
For the cake mixture
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g light-brown muscovado sugar
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1tspn cinnamon
- 2tbspn runny honey
- 75g chopped walnuts
- 175g self-raising flour
For the topping
- 2tbspn Demerara sugar
- 25g whole walnuts, halved
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Slice the quince into eighths and peel and core each slice. Next, cut the hard flesh into small, roughly half-centimetre cubes. Place in a saucepan with enough water to just cover them, together with a squeeze of lemon juice (quince browns very quickly and may also stain white boards). Pour in the runny honey and bring to a boil before simmering for about 20 minutes or until cooked.
Remove the quince with a slotted spoon and set aside before boiling down the remaining water until you’re left with a few tablespoons of syrup. Set the syrup aside.
Prepare a 20cm-diameter loose-bottomed cake tin lined with parchment paper. To make the cake mixture, bring the softened butter and sugar to a fluffy, even consistency in a large bowl, using an electric beater, before adding the eggs, cinnamon and honey. Beat again.
Add the cooked quince and chopped walnuts, folding evenly through with a large spoon, followed by the self-raising flour. Fold gently until just combined and then pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about one hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is still hot, brush the top with the quince-and-honey syrup and then sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Remove from the tin to cool on a wire rack. Finally, decorate with the walnut halves. Serve the warm cake with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of honey.
Ingredients (Serves 4) For the pastry 125g softened unsalted butter 125g caster sugar 3 egg yolks 250g plain flour For…
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